New York In a Way You Have Never Seen It
“Now you’re in New York, these streets will make you feel brand new, big lights will inspire you, let’s hear it for New York.”
The lyrics of Alicia Keys do not lie, but they are just a glimpse of what New York really is. To be honest, there is probably not a single person in the world who can describe its beauty. New York is depicted as the sleepless city full with skyscrapers – a city where fashion, innovation, and culture thrive. It’s all true, but as one New Yorker said online: “New York may be the city that never sleeps, but that’s because there’s something in the air here that renders sleep useless.”
This summer I traveled to the city and realized that it is much more than the stereotypical image we know. It is history. It is art. It is nature.
We have all seen Central Park in the movies: a beautiful park where people jog and friends hang out. But from the screens of our TVs, we cannot see and appreciate its beauty. Located in the heart of New York, it is like a natural oasis among the hundreds of concrete giants.
Walking around the park, I was amazed that although surrounded by pure nature, I can still see the skyscrapers all around me. And still, the atmosphere is so different – the air is cleaner and the colors more vivid.
You feel like you are in an enchanted forest filled with a wide variety of unusual flowers and birds you haven’t seen before. The species of birds there are different and unique. They even have their own section in the American Museum of Natural History.
When going to New York, you cannot miss visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It houses some of the world’s most esteemed collections of art. It stores art from various eras and genres: from the Baroque period to the Modern times, from portraits and photographs to abstract expressionistic works. It has paintings of some of the finest artists such as Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, and Edgar Degas.
You can probably spend a week there wandering in the long halls and exploring the museum’s treasures. But if you don’t have that time, like I did not, it’s best to see the vast collections of your favourite artists. Personally, the collections of Claude Monet and Van Gogh impressed me the most. The techniques and the colors they used make them stand out from the other artists.
The museum is one of the world’s premier cultural institutions and a house to hundreds of events each year. However, I was surprised to hear that as I was walking around its halls, Anna Wintour, the Editor of Vogue, was signing copies of China: Through the Looking Glass there. Unfortunately, there were so many people in line that I couldn’t get this dream signature. I may have left the museum without Anna Wintour’s autograph, but I was enriched from the beautiful exhibitions and the atmosphere as a whole. The Metropolitan Museum is a truly inspirational place.
The 9/11 Memorial Museum is different from all the other places I have visited. Here the feelings of fascination and inspiration are replaced with sadness, devastation, and deep love. Yet, despite these polarised emotions, the 9/11 Museum is a must-visit site in New York.
It is built at the exact place of the Twin Towers and its ground floor is the actual ground zero of the destroyed World Trade Center. It is breathtaking to stand there and to look at the remains of the foundation. I took a long walk through the highlights of the tragedy which was depicted through news reports, photos, and even perfectly preserved clothes of the victims. It was affecting to hear the recorded voices of the witnesses and the people who survived it. In honour of all the victims, two fountains were built at the place of the two towers. The names of all who lost their lives on the tragic Sept. 11, 2001 are engraved there.
The 9/11 Memorial Museum is the place that left the deepest trace in me. It exhausted me emotionally and filled me with respect at the same time.
Many students during their Work and Travel in the U.S. stop by New York for a few days. I asked some of them to share with me what they have visited there. Although most said they had seen everything, one cannot get to know the city and taste every side of it whether for a day, a week, or a year. Even a lifetime won’t be enough. New York just absorbs you, consumes every emotion you have until it leaves you yearning for more of everything.